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draft news entry about the Debian derivative FrontDesk

Hi everybody, here is a proposed news item on the derivative FrontDesk
which started to be active a few days ago. Comments are welcome as
always, both on the form and on the content.

(the title, for once is too long, but I haven't yet found a nice
shortening of it)

More collaboration among Debian-based distributions: Debian introduces the Derivatives Front Desk

The Debian Project has been promoting software freedom and delivering
Free Software to users via its releases since 1993.  Having been one of
the first GNU/Linux distribution ever, Debian has spawned several
distributions which are nowadays based on the work which is done in
Debian, as allowed and encouraged by Free Software customs. Such
distributions are colloquially referred to as "derivative
distributions"; according to DistroWatch, Debian currently enjoys more
than 120 derivatives, including some of the most popular GNU/Linux
distributions nowadays.

The Debian Project encourages other distributions to be based on the
volunteer work of Debian Developers and believes that it is in
inter-distribution collaboration activities such as bug forwarding,
joint maintenance team, patch forwarding, etc. that the Free Software
ethos gets implemented.

To that end, the Debian Project is happy to announce the opening of its
Derivatives Front Desk, a discussion place where contributors of
Debian-based distribution can meet and discuss on how to better push
their changes back to Debian or otherwise ask for help on how to
interact with Debian development.

Developers of Debian-based distributions are hereby invited to join the
<debian-derivatives@lists.debian.org> mailing list as the main
discussion place for derivatives. Additionally, the Debian Project
encourages contributors of Debian-based distributions to mail inquiries
about how to contribute back their changes at <derivatives@debian.org>.

A few notes:

- the first paragraphs might be too lyric (sorry, but I really believe
  in that stuff :-))
- there is a need of some links here and there, in particular I'd like
  to link to:
  - http://www.flickr.com/photos/iamurdock/3950212995/ (which is not
    DFSG free as a picture; would it be OK to link to it as an external
    link or should we rather ask Ian to provide us a DFSG-free version
    to store locally? ... or give up entirely with the idea?)
  - http://distrowatch.com/dwres.php?resource=major (is the source of
    the number of 120 derivatives; no idea how much you consider it
    authoritative though)
  - a link to http://lists.debian.org/debian-derivatives/ from the
    mailing list address
- I'm not particularly happy about the last paragraph: all the content I
  want is there, but I feel it can be better put it down, any volunteer?

Thank a lot in advance for your help, and sorry for the delay, I
should have posted this here a few days ago ...


Stefano Zacchiroli -o- PhD in Computer Science \ PostDoc @ Univ. Paris 7
zack@{upsilon.cc,pps.jussieu.fr,debian.org} -<>- http://upsilon.cc/zack/
Dietro un grande uomo c'è ..|  .  |. Et ne m'en veux pas si je te tutoie
sempre uno zaino ...........| ..: |.... Je dis tu à tous ceux que j'aime

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